Now that you have a better idea of the true philosophy and nature of authentic classical education, you need to decide whether classical homeschooling is right for you, your spouse, and your family. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s 2010 Digest of Education Statistics, total U.S. k-12 enrollment was 55.2 million kids of which 48.5 million (88%) attended public schools, 5.2 million (9%) attended private secular and religious schools, and 1.5 million (3%) were homeschooled. Countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Indonesia, and Germany have growing homeschool populations. Clearly, homeschooling is a viable option for parents who want to take a different education route.
Beyond compliance with state regulations, many families find that a willing attitude, a modest budget, and a love of learning are all that are needed to succeed in homeschooling. Dedication and hard work, not special teacher training or advanced degrees, are the best indicators of homeschooling success. Parents who sincerely want to teach their children at home, and consequently invest time and energy into their best efforts, can have a measurable positive impact on the future generation.
Homeschooling methods vary. Perhaps you have a laid-back personality and prefer to let your kids dictate learning thus following an “unschooling” approach to home education. On the other hand, you may like the security and regimen of workbooks. Or you may follow a blended approach to homeschooling where you teach some skills at home and share teaching with parents at a co-op. Since authentic classical education is an educational philosophy (how you think about education) and not a method (how you teach the skills), a variety of homeschooling approaches can meet the final goals of trivium mastery. Imagine three moms who start the day with the goal of teaching spelling skills to a seven year old. The first mom prefers that the child sits at the table with a spelling workbook, the second mom calls for a family group dance to a lively spelling song, and the third mom waits while the child indirectly picks up spelling while reading comic books on the couch. All three moms embrace the classical philosophy, but they arrive at their destination of spelling mastery in three very different ways.
Consider the benefits and challenges of classical homeschooling then decide whether your personality, limitations, and lifestyle make it the best option for you and your family. To begin your discovery, complete the following “absorb, do, and connect” activities.
- Read Top 30 Motivations for Homeschooling, and rank your top 3 reasons
- Explore popular method bloggers in Homeschooling Methods: Spectrum of Bloggers
- Read about integrated learning in Facts + Real-Life = Better Retention
- Learn 20 ways to reduce the cost of homeschooling in Big Family, Small Budget
- Watch Nine Reasons NOT to Homeschool (1:10)
- Print a refrigerator copy of Jim Erskine’s funny comic: 20 Great Reasons You Homeschool
- Document your Personal Profile in a journal entry (pdf)
- Discover your limiting beliefs in My Biggest Obstacle journal entry (pdf)
- Survey 7 Teaching Alternatives in this interactive tutorial (1:01)
- Find your state and local support groups on Homeschool World
- Explore one way to stay on track with the File Crate System for Staying Organized
- Browse bloggers by homeschooling style on The Ultimate Homeschool Blogroll
- Create your own Post-It Note Narrative in this interactive tutorial What’s My Story? (3:22)
- Take the Myers-Briggs Personality Test then read your results
- Have your spouse complete the Personal Profile (or do it for him)
- Complete the pdf Family Themes questionnaire
- Find your state on the HSLDA map to determine your legal reporting requirements